Wed 26 June 2013
The voyage over to Pt Vila proved to be most eventful and a good challenge for those seeking adventure beyond their comfort zones. Our intrepid leader and captain Bob Brenac however has seen it all and calmly smoothed the waters by recounting tales of Bass Strait at 90kts so our experience was really just a walk in the park!
We left Sydney Heads at 1330 hrs on Thursday 13th 2013 into a friendly norwest wind which continued to blow for the next 3 days with increasing energy. As a result we covered 185 nm in the first 24hrs then created a new 24hr record for Chimere of 227nm @ 055 degrees between 2230hrs Thursday to 2230hrs Friday 14th June!
The winds then turned souwest for the next 6 days in search of the elusive trade winds which finally appeared on our last day into Vila. We had some relaxing sailing during which we enjoyed cooked meals prepared by the good people of Melbourne (Thankyou very much).
We arrived into Port Vila on Sunday 23rd June 2013 anchoring at 0933hrs some 9 days and 20 hrs later. Another record for Chimere! We sailed most of the way having to use the “iron sail” for only 34.7hrs during this time as mother nature had a rest.
The crew of 5 strange men – a marine surveyor (Gary), a pet motelier (Bob), a self –funded retiree (Jon), a medical wonder (Tony) and a flightless bird (Kiwi-John) with a vast array of hidden talents which were revealed as the challenges of our voyage demanded professional responses.
We conquered the loss of steering as the cable broke in the stiff NW 25knt breeze on day 3, and the engine refusing to start as we passed by the Iles de Pins (Isle of Pines) on day 7. As the sound of the” dogs barking” faded under the beautiful noise of the iron sail the tensions subsided and we returned to our slumber and night watches. As usual these incidents always happen in the middle of the night to heighten the sense of drama and test ones resolve.
Since arriving in port we have performed a few more miracles and now have the pleasure of Stella the water maker, an anchor well with bells and whistles(ie everything now works), an engine that starts when you turn the key and we are currently sorting out why the autohelm went on strike as we came into port .
As you can see there is more to sailing than meets the eye! Well worth the experience however.
Greetings to one and all and thank you for your support
Here’s the link to Chimere’s location…
They are seven miles from dropping anchor after less than 10 days out of Sydney. Might be time for a couple aboard to finally have a shower!
A great result and congratulations to Bob, Jon, Gary, KiwiJohn and Tony.
Check out the photos of the Melb-Syd leg including an overall map of the voyage. Zoom in to see ‘Island-hopping’ in New Caledonia.
100 nm due south of Port Vila, almost there!
The SE trade wind picked up last night and we have been averaging 6-7 knts.
No more fish but we have changed the lure so maybe fish tomorrow, spag bol tonight.
Next blog will be from Port Vila while we wait on board for customs quarantine etc. on Monday morning.
Great day, Bob finally caught a fish, a good sized Mahi Mahi and we have sighted land – New Caledonia.
Bob cooked the fish it tasted great, it must be his French heritage.
We are about 12 nm sth of Ile Des Pins, New Caledonia, calm seas as we are in the lee of some reefs.
We will change course at some stage tonight to the North and head straight to Port Vila, about 2 days away.
Lat. -24.39 lon 165.34
Another beautiful day on the South Pacific we are approx. 150nm from Ile des Pins, New Caledonia.
Delicious chicken and mushroom pie for dinner.
Still no fish
Saw some flying fish.
Conversation has deteriorated to old school stories!
2 have showered and 3 smell, beards are looking sleazy.
Good days sailing today we approx 300 nm from New Caledonia.
Lat 26.06 long 163.33
Everyone in good spirits as we approach our first sight of land.
Still trying to fish with no luck.
Long 161.27 Lat 28.10
Good day today lighter winds motored a little. But generally had a very relaxing day.
Kiwi John is fully recovered and ate all his meals.
We even tried fishing but, the fish won.
Had a bad night last night: high winds and we broke a steering cable in the middle of the night. We had to shorten the rigg use the emergency tiller to heave to and we drifted for the night. Then the auto pilot broke. All fixed now and the wind has abated, had hot pasta for dinner – yum!
We are approx. 10nm east of Elizabeth Reef.
Lat 31.67 (S) Lon 157.08 (E)
Brief message, not a lot to report and conditions a bit lumpy to sit at Nav table for any length of time.
0900 est we are 100 nm west of Lord Howe Island squally weather. Making good time, covered about 330 miles in 44 hours, average of about 7.5kts and getting into the routine of life at sea; sleeping, on watch, snacks, holding on, trimming sails, checking gear, sleeping, on watch, reading, checking gear, holding on, snacks …
We are giving the batteries a good charge each day with the new generator. No need to make any freshwater with the onboard desal plant yet. Still have 800 litres in tanks
Cheers for now,
Jon, Kiwi John, Bob, Tony and Gary
Sat 15 June, 19:44
About 25 nm nth of Lord Howe Island still fairly rough but wind is getting warmer.
We traveled 229 nm yesterday which I believe is a record for Chimere!
Friday 14 June 201 Lat -32.92 Lon 154.02
After a good first night we are now about 150 nm from Sydney. Have a wonderful 20 knot SW wind and we are averaging approx 9 knts.
Bob’s complaining because the suns not out! and John wants to know “Are we there yet!”
from the crew of the good ship Chimere.
Good progress made today averaging 8-9 knts. Heading just north of Lord Howe Island. Seas are still quite rough.
After receiving Rob L’s email we managed to get the generator going and are currently charging the batteries – we still cannot find the cockpit covers!
Bob made some lemonade with his soda fountain, but apart from that we havent eaten much as it is too rough to cook.